Feeling down most times can be very normal. However, when this down emotion lingers, you might just be experiencing depression. Depression is a debilitating mood disorder that is capable of seizing the joy of your life. Depression takes charge of both your wake time and sleep hours. It distracts every aspect of your life and hinders you from properly utilizing your time. It manifests as deep sadness, hopelessness, and despair of one’s self.
Depression affects your thinking, therefore, impairing on your mental health and general well being. It makes you achieve less in a lot of time. Depression in one phrase can be described as a ” time killer”. Depression is not one among those things you would want to give a chance in your life. It is very important to properly handle issues relating to depression. As effective management of symptoms can help overcome depression.
Identifying The Early Signs of Depression
Depression if recognized early can easily be averted. There are numerous signs a depressed person is prone to manifest unconsciously. This sign varies with age and gender. However, there are some signs that are very common to all depressed individuals. Nevertheless, some of the symptoms expressed can just be a part of life’s normal low moment. Signs that are specific to depression can be determined by ;
- The number of symptoms expressed.
- The depth to which these symptoms are expressed ( how strongly this sign is seen)
- The length of time these symptoms have lasted.
Early signs of depression include;
- Changes In Sleep Routine: This is seen as insomnia or overly long sleeping periods.
- Unusual Loss Of Interest In Daily Routine And Other Activities: A depressed person becomes very nonchalant towards hobbies, daily activities, social activities, and even sex. Such persons have lost their ability to feel any joy or pleasure.
- Anger And Irritability: This is one of the most common depression symptoms. It manifests as restlessness. The depressed individuals will feel agitated, or even violent. You will feel irritated by everything including persons around you. Your tolerance level becomes low and your temper short.
- Appetite Disorders And Changes in Weight; It is very common to notice people with early signs of depression losing weight. About 5% of their body weight would be lost in a month. Some of them, however, gain a little weight instead. This is attributed to their sedentary lifestyle. Such persons would experience a disorder in appetite.
- Early Loss Syndrome; A depressed person is most likely to feel fatigued or excessively weak. This is because most of their reserved energy has been exhausted in thinking. Hence, such a person begin to feel drained. At this point, a very active person before depression starts would become very sluggish. Small tasks would then become very exhausting and take longer periods to complete.
What Happens When The Early Signs Are Not Treated
When the early signs of depression aggravate, several other depression symptoms are most likely to be expected if not treated. Some of which includes ;
- Problems With Concentration
A depressed person would have trouble focusing. They would also have issues making adequate decisions. Problems with remembering things and mental health challenges would surface.
- The feeling of helplessness or hopelessness
A depressed person is prone to feeling hopeless. They feel there is nothing to be done to improve their situation.
- Self Loathing Starts
At this point, you begin to feel worthless. You would have a strong feeling of guilt deep down your gut. You would criticize and heap blames on yourself for mistakes.
- Unexplained Pains And Aches
You would experience an excessive increase in physical complains. Like headaches, aching muscles, back pain, waist pain, and stomach disorders.
- Reckless behavior
A depressed person is prone to escapist behavior. They would participate in compulsive gambling, dangerous sports, substance abuse, and reckless driving.
- Suicidal Risk
A depressed person would seek suicide as the only escape of the pain and hopelessness. They would be preoccupied with plans of dying. You would notice such person death cleaning, visiting or calling loved ones to say goodbye and gifting away prized possession. The thought of death would bring a glimpse of joy to them. They would suddenly switch from being extremely depressed to being calm and happy.
Understanding The Specific Type of Depression
The only effective approach to treating depression is knowing the specific type of depression to be treated. Accurate knowledge of the types of depression one is experiencing can help manage depression symptoms. The known types of depression include;
- Major Depression
Unlike mild or moderate depression, major depression is less common. It manifests as severe, relentless symptoms. Major depression can last for over six months, especially when left untreated. Although, some persons might experience only a single depressive episode during their lifetime. Major depression is usually a recurrent disorder.
- Atypical Depression
Atypical depression has a specific symptom pattern. It is a common subtype of major depression. Atypical depression responds better to medications or therapist. It manifests as a temporary mood lift, especially during positive events. Like when hanging out with friends or when good news is received.
People with atypical depression have also shown increased appetite and excessive sleeping, which then leads to weight gain. They also display sensitivity to rejection and a heavy feeling in both the arms and legs.
Dysthymia also was known as recurrent, mild depression is a chronic “low-grade” depression. Most times, you would feel mildly depressed with brief periods of normal mood.
Dysthymia can last for many years with minimal symptoms. Dysthymia gives you a continuous low mood that can even make you believe that is the way you were made. Double depression may occur when you experience major depressive episodes alongside dysthymia.
- SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER (SAD)
This type of depression is seasonal. It is seen during the reduced daylight hours of winter. SAD begins during falls or winter and persists until spring when the days are brighter. It is not very common but affects about two percent of the population, especially women and young persons.
SAD can make you feel totally different from the persons you are in the summer. You begin to lose interest in several activities that you are fond of. You constantly feel hopeless, sad stressed or nervous. You will also lose interest in your friends.
What Triggers Depression
There is no specific cause for depression. Several factors can trigger or predispose one to depression. Depression triggers are mostly dependent on the person involved. Age, gender, and sex are other factors to consider when discussing depression triggers.
Depression can be triggered by a combination of different unrelated causes. This is most times referred to as “downward spiral” of events. For instance, you might feel depressed after recovery from an ailment. In which case, you experience a series of traumatic events, like bereavement, this would then lead to depression.
For some other persons, depression may occur following upsetting or stressful life events, divorce, redundancy, job or money worries. The potential depression triggers are;
- Stressful events
- One’s Personality
- Family history
- Alcohol and Drugs
Just like any other health, mental or psychological problem suffered by humans, early detection matters. By recognizing depression early enough and applying the appropriate intervention, there is a higher chance of preventing relapse and promoting remission.